It may sound like the same story… a rapidly aging HVAC workforce, our industry is clamoring for talent after a decade's long slide in HVAC professionals hitting the market.
The story has a fresh perspective when you talk with those who are just entering the field. They are bucking the trend that pushed students down a traditional college path. With the courage to step out and pursue education and career based in technical skills, these professionals are starting to stack the deck in favor of our HVAC talent pipeline.
One of our most recent hires from a technical school, Danny Treat, is a prime example of the importance of finding and pursuing your true passion. It’s our hope that his perspective and voice help others explore careers in HVAC as well as other trades plumbing, electricity, drafting, and design engineering.
How did you decide to go technical school and decide on a career in HVAC?
I attended multiple four-year universities and just never found a track I was passionate about. I felt that I was “supposed” to attend a school like that which caused me to rack up unnecessary debt without gaining any real skill or finding my passion. My now mother-in-law suggested I look into a technical school and introduced me to Dunwoody College of Technology. I am really interested in mechanical problem solving and learn best hands-on so this was a great fit for me.
What’s your best piece of advice for those who feel pressured to attend a four-year school, but know it is not the right fit?
It is important for you to look further than four-year universities when looking for post-secondary education, even when you feel pressure to go a specific path. Not only is a traditional education not always the best fit for everyone, like it wasn’t for me, there is a large need for more trade professionals. With the need for HVAC professional rapidly growing, we will see a trend of HVAC companies looking for ways to attract professionals; an education in the trades is a great way to start.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned on your path to your career?
I learn best by doing. At Dunwoody, I was able get hands-on experience, not just sitting in a classroom. I didn’t learn from a textbook but instead learned by doing, developing problem solving skills that I have already used while working at Daikin. When I came to Daikin I already had experience with engineering programs, like Solidworks, and working with 3D printers. Throughout my college career, I learned best practices and got hands-on experience in the HVAC field. This made my transition to Daikin much easier with already having experience working essentially full-time.
How would you describe starting your career at Daikin?
Daikin has been a great fit for me. I never knew I wanted to work specifically in HVAC, but with my strong desire to work in a mechanical field where I can solve problems, it has been great. I am a drafting and design mechanical engineer in applied air business group and have been able to learn so much.